Cranking Out The Friday Megalinks

Let’s do some Friday linkage for you.

MLB Postseason starts up really in earnest with four games on Saturday. College Football in full swing and the NFL completes its first month of games on Sunday. Your Weekend Viewing Picks have everything you need to know in sports and primetime programming.

To the linkage.


Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that Fox Sports’ NASCAR coverage will be known for having the Brothers Waltrip next year.

Mike Reynolds of Broadcasting & Cable writes that Turner Sports will be all over the League Division Series for the first four days of the MLB Postseason.

Adweek has a graphic showing how much time we spend on watching football.

Bill Cromwell of Media Life Magazine writes that TBS and Fox should see good ratings for the MLB Postseason based on an exciting final night of the season on Wednesday.

Nelli Andreeva of Deadline reports that ESPN is developing an ABC sitcom based on Boston sports fans. That’s going to go over well.

Bill Hofheimer in ESPN’s Front Row blog talks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden about calling a “home game” this Monday.

Jim Romanesko of the Poynter Institute looks at the despicable reaction of Buffalo Bills fans to a column written by a female sportswriter at the Albany Times Union.

Bob’s Blitz has video of WFAN’s Mike Francesa attempting to add on the air.

Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group looks at ESPN placing microphones on various players and coaches during the WNBA Finals.

Brandon chronicles a wild Wednesday night at MLB Network.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the advantages or lack of thereof having a bigger payroll in MLB.

The Sports Biz Miss Kristi Dosh tells us that despite not making the playoffs, the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox still get a share of the postseason pie.

The Sports Media Watch looks at how the tumultuous Final Night of the MLB season led to a ratings bonanza for ESPN.

SMW says for the MLB season, ESPN’s ratings went up slightly.

SMW says TBS’ ratings for the MLB regular season were flat compared with last year.

Joe Favorito looks at how Dick Vitale has made himself into a viable brand.

The Daly Planet delves into the changes with the Fox Sports NASCAR crew.

The Influencer Economy has a look into Blogs with Balls 4 and the future of sports media.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn at the Boston Globe (this is the last day I’ll be able to link to Chad as his columns go behind the dreaded paywall starting October 1) writes about NESN viewers unable to see analyst Dennis Eckersley on the last day of the season.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy shares some blame in the Red Sox collapse.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with TBS’ Brian Anderson who steps into the network’s lead spot for the MLB Postseason.

Justin Terranova of the New York Post has five questions for NBC Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a new local sports talk show host isn’t spending any time discussing any local topics.

Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes about local radio stations picking up MLB League Division Series games.

To the New Jersey Newsroom where Evan Weiner says the college conference shuffle is making fans roll their collective eyes.

In the Allentown (PA) Morning Call, Keith Groller writes that MLB will have a hard act to follow in the postseason after a compelling final night of the regular season.

Laura Nachman says Comcast SportsNet will be all over the Phillies in the MLB Postseason.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes of writes that sections of the Baltimore Sun’s sports website will go behind the dreaded paywall.


The Florida Times-Union reports that the Jacksonville Jaguars have avoided a blackout for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

To the St. Petersburg Times where Tom Jones says Sun Sports got big ratings for the Tampa Bay Rays’ march to the playoffs this week.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes that MLB Network was all over the twists and turns from the final night of the regular season.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has his news and notes.


John Kieswetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a local CBS affiliate will provide halftime highlights during Bengals games at Paul Brown Stadium.

John writes that Saturday’s Cincinnati-Miami game will be seen live online and on local TV on tape delay.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with Tigers TV voice Mario Impemba about the team’s chances of advancing in the MLB Postseason.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel speaks with Brewers TV voice Brian Anderson about getting the top gig for TBS for the playoffs.

Bob has a couple of quotes from CBS’ Phil Simms about Sunday’s Denver-Green Bay game.

To Crain’s Chicago Business and Ed Sherman who writes that Nebraska’s addition to the conference can only help the Big Ten Network.

Ed has his winners and losers in sports media and business.

In the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin, Paul Christian talks with former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster who’s now patrolling the sidelines for Gus Johnson and FX’s college football game of the week.

Jennifer Mann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin has been arrested on DUI charges for the second time this year.

Dan Caesar of the Post-Dispatch writes that Fox Sports Midwest has suspended McLaughlin indefinitely.


Bill Center in the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres expect to bring back its TV booth, but no word on the team’s radio announcers or new TV contract for next season.

The Union-Tribune says Sunday’s Chargers game against the Dolphins will be blacked out.

John Maffei of the North County Times says the Padres hope to have a new TV deal (with Fox Sports Net) in place by the New Year.

At the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle writes that Wednesday’s MLB season finale was Must See TV.

Jim says despite being on a losing team, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp is in the center of the MVP debate among TV analysts.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Jenn Brown’s endorsement deal with GNC.

Tom says Bill Macdonald’s full-time days with Fox Sports West are over.

Tom looks at TBS’ coverage of the MLB Postseason.

Tom wonders why the NFL pulled back the 1st half Thursday Night Football package from the table.


In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bruce Dowbiggin says MLB got a shot in the arm on Wednesday.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog writes that TSN has locked up curling on TV in Canada through the end of the decade.

And that’s going to do it. I may have a few more links later tonight.

Sports Media Musings: The Big O losings O’s

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I previously wrote Ordway is a program director. He no longer holds that title. Oversight on my part. Apologies.

Chad Finn’s article last week said according to industry sources, Glenn Ordway was given a choice: Cut his rumored $1 million salary in half, or face the possibility of losing his job at Entercom-owned, WEEI. The Big O’ thought better of it to take the former.

Ordway, who’s role includes hosting “The Big Show” afternoons from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM, failed to finish in the top three in the coveted 25-54 demographic during the spring ratings book. This, allegedly, gave Entercom an oppotunity to opt out of Ordway’s rather lavish contract.

The timing of the pay-cut is curious and – from an outsider’s perspective – ominous for the former monopoly of sports radio in Boston. I’ve documented in this space before how WEEI’s fall from grace coupled with their adversary – 98.5 The Sports Hub – has unfolded. But I ruminated the possibility of a WEEI bounce-back in the summer books, which are set to be released next Tuesday by third-party Arbitron.

The Bruins Stanley Cup frenzy waning combined with the fact WEEI broadcasts Red Sox games, seemed to point to an oppotunity for WEEI to take back what was once theirs. With news of The Big O’ losings O’s at the end of his paycheck, one has to postulate Entercom has caught wind they under-performed (again) during the summer ratings period.

Since I’m here, let’s dig a little deeper.

Ordway’s salary cut is appropriate. Obviously this is opinion, but he never should have been making that kind of money to begin with.  The guy talks about sports four hours a day. Granted, his show was largely successful. And if you’re the best, you deserve to make the most. But Ordway – along with the rest of the WEEI roster – was the best by default. Never once, while listening to “The Big Show”, was I ever met with an epiphany from an Ordway ‘take.’ I never found myself saying, “Wow, that was a different spin on things I had not considered.”

Things were supposed to change after “The Big Show” changed up the roundtable format with the addition of the affable Michael Holley. However, still, more often than not during “The Big Show”, my ears are met with colloquial conversation that after 20 minutes turns into yelling, and has “celebrity” callers garble more nonsense. The only change seems to be Mike Adams doing his best Ed McMahon impression. I’m not sure if this was a joke that I was not “in” on, or if the program was just a caricature of a sports show. Once Mike Adams became a permanent fixture, I was convinced it was the later.

Perfect Example: Holley (in a sarcastic tone) – “Mike I know you are a hardened journalist — what do you think?”

Adams – “Journalism? I may be a professional at Ururinalism!”

It is unclear whether Adams bombs like “The Situation” at the Trump Roast on purpose or not.

Back to the show. With news of CSNNE’s agreement to simulcast Ordway’s direct competition – “Felger and Mazz” – things continue to look bleak for WEEI. Moreover, the Red Sox collapse combined with the real possibility the NBA season won’t take place means WEEI is forced to talk Patriots/Bruins until the ‘Host Stove’ talks heat up. Only issue is 98.5 The Sports Hub is the flagship station for those two teams and carry the games.

Next Tuesday will tell us more. A lot more. But as a personality told me recently, “It is easy to see which station is going up and doing well, and which station is not.”

Francona Gone? Theo Too?

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last night that the Red Sox and manager Terry Francona are expected to part ways, as soon as today.

Francona expected to leave Red Sox

The Chicago Sun Times reports today that Francona wants out, and would be interested in joining the White Sox:

Terry Francona wants out of Boston; White Sox are logical landing spot

It would be tough to see the best Red Sox manager ever leave town, but you knew something had to change with the team after that dreadful final month. Could Theo Epstein be gone too? The Sun Times also reports that the Cubs are going to make a run at Epstein – Cubs will make run at Theo Epstein for GM job.

That would be quite the shakeup. Stay tuned.

A few quick links before handing things over to Ryan later this morning:

Media Roundup: Did The Boston Globe Take Pleasure In Red Sox Collapse? – My SBNation Boston media column looks at whether the Globe and treated the Red Sox elimination as something to celebrate.

Rice no match for Eckersley – Chad Finn says that it’s a shame that Dennis Eckersley wasn’t available for NESN after the Red Sox elimination.

Red Sox fans have Dan Shaughnessy to blame – Bill Doyle’s media column puts the blame for Wednesday night on the Globe columnist.